“Smarter is better” seems like it should be a universal truth, but leave it to the brain geniuses of Silicon Valley innovate “smartness” into the most annoying thing you can possibly imagine. At this point it’s broadly clear that so-called smart appliances are, in large part, a simple ploy to upsell you on replacement appliances you don’t need and saddle you with the joys of upgrading your refrigerator’s firmware. But Frank May on YouTube is here to illustrate one of the most egregious examples yet: the smart water cooler.
Of all the horrible “features” May demonstrates, some particularly fun ones include an obscene boot time, a horrific UI, subscription water filters, and other bits of more hidden but very questionable engineering. All this to replace a more mechanical solution that works much better and likely costs orders of magnitude less.
We may not be able to stop our not-so-slow slide in to the dystopian “smart” appliance future completely, but for the time being fight it back the best you can and buy the dumbest appliances you can find, for you own good. And maybe get to work on building that cabin in the woods you’ve been thinking about.